Bonner and Associates pissed us off, so a few of us at the Action Factory, a group of young climate activists living and working in DC, took our clothes off in the rain to demonstrate the NAKED FRAUD of this astroturf lobbying firm.
Bonner and Associates, who were working for the Hawthorne Group, whom in turn were working for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, forged not 1, not 6, but 12 letters to not 1 but 3 congressmen. All three of these companies are outraged, claiming to have fired the ‘deviant’ employee who supposedly acted on his or her own. They were so ‘outraged’ that they didn’t notify the congressmen who received these letters. They were so ‘outraged’ that they even forgot that Bonner has been caught using almost the same tactics before, making them look very stupid for hiring them in the first place. That’s pretty much blind with outrage.
Once the intense anger of the moment subsided, we grabbed a camera and headed back to Bonner’s office first thing Monday morning to get to the bottom of this. Keep in mind, we’re not professional journalists, and I apologize in advance if our ‘outrage’ clouds our judgment on ethical conduct. But, I think that you’ll enjoy joining us on this search for democracy. Bonner and Associates seems to have stolen it, so it only made sense to start looking at the scene of the crime…
*People seem pretty unsure of whether forging letters is illegal
*We’re not legal experts – what are the legal consequences for mail fraud? forging names and signatures? Lying to congress?
Sierra Club’s letter to the DOJ spells out some of the legalese and next steps. Read it on the Wonk Room
Also, watch Rachel Maddow’s ongoing series on “Unnatural Mail Enhancement”